I know spring is coming and I’m ready

I know spring is coming and I’m ready

yellow-typewriter-arrob.440.305.sIt’s been quite the past month here in Portland and now that it’s almost spring I’m overdue to share some of my latest work. As some of you know, I was the Arobb@ digital blogger in residence at Duke University’s Program for Latino Studios in the Global South for the month of February. The program allowed me to focus my energy on a short set of pieces concerning the nature of femininity, oppression, and race in migrant America. If you haven’t had a chance to read them yet, they shouldn’t take you more than 8 minutes to go through.

March also meant some big changes in my career. I left the Portland Observer and experienced a milestone that many writers will not share – I had my byline lifted by an editor. When I learned that this wasn’t unique to me  – that dozens of writers I spoke to spoke of both having their wages withheld and the writing misattributed intentionally, I decided to speak up. I shared a Love Letter To Future Writers at Medium on my experiences and am working still to recover both my wages and create community accountability.

Fortunately, when I left the paper, I found other platforms ready to work with my writing. I am now moving forward on a new beat on decriminalization of marijuana over at Potcast PDX, which is set to be a half hour variety show about cannabis and its unique effects on intersectional communities launching sometime in the next 40 days. I’m setting off to start on one of my first interviews for them today, focusing on what is happening to convicts living with records for a crime that may no longer exist.

I’ve  also been following the election and considering the open fascist tendencies of our government across the board – not just by Trump or Hilary, but by the nation. My concerns about white supremacy not being new but being expanded in different ways this election are over at The Establishment, where it was part of a five-part series on the election.

Another big jump for me has been joining the Portland QTPOC Talk Collective, where I am going to be a regular voice. The talk show runs on KBOO the third Tuesday of every month, with the next show airing Tuesday, March 15th from 6 to 7 p.m. Listen to our first episode if you didn’t catch it live.

Aside from my published pieces in the past month, I have a few readings coming up.12801386_815299662552_5884806195737183253_n.jpgCatch me tonight at Death Rattle Hum – Portland Edition, where I’ll be reading alongside local poets Jamondria Harris and Michelle Peñaloza, and wandering poets from Idaho Griffin Birdsong, Diana Forgione, Marshall Harris, Dig Reeder, and Alex Yann. The entire event was put together by local poet and professor Mike Young, who I have really enjoyed working with in the past several months. The reading starts tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Post 134, 2104 NE Alberta in Portland.

If you can’t make it tonight you’ll have another chance to hear me read this Monday at Powell’s for Smallpressapalooza 2016. The lineup is impressive: Screenshot 3:10:16, 11:51 AM.jpeg

I’m right there in the middle at 8 p.m. and you’ll be able to score copies of No One Remembered Your Name But I Wrote It Down along with everyone else’s chapbooks and small press releases right there after the reading.

I’ll have new pieces coming out shortly – so stayed tuned and let me know if there’s somewhere I should be reading next. And as a bonus for reading to the end here’s this week’s Notable Portland column, full of literary events to check out this week.

 

 

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It’s Here!

Hey everyone – you can now buy copies of my new chapbook, No One Remembered Your Name But I Wrote It Down, online.

And if you want an exclusive chance to hear me read from it in person and buy a hard copy from me, come to tomorrow’s reading!

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See you then!

Support Refugee Reading in Portland

Support Refugee Reading in Portland

Hey everyone in the Pacific Northwest: in light of so many recent discussions on refugees I have been invited to read on a panel of refugee writers through Tell It Slant and Light Night Library – where I was a featured co-host earlier this year (click here and listen to my voice and hear my discussing Maggie Messit’s book, The Rainy Season along with Elizabeth Enslin).

Here’s the facebook event page and I hope you will share this all writers of color event in one of the whitest major cities on the west coast during this critical time for refugees. 12243500_10153781847829885_2965073151121373299_n

As I continue to provide these free readings and educational opportunities for the community, consider contributing to my patreon account so that I can continue to survive in Portland as a Salvadoran refugee writer, reporter, and activist.

I am booked up this fall and winter with wonderful readings and workshops, and will have dozens of great news stories coming up for general readers. I also have a peace I am working on peace for a Salvadoran anthology that will be translated into Spanish, so please keep supporting me and I will keep supporting our communities and creating free and low-barrier art, literature and essays for people of all mean.

Has June been one of the busiest months on the planet or what?

Has June been one of the busiest months on the planet or what?

First of all I’m reading TONIGHT at Lit Hop PDX – I’ll be cohosting a reading mash-up for The Rumpus and Future Tense Books with Kevin Sampsell. Also, the rest of this week’s line up of readings throughout Portland are up my weekly Notable Portland column at the Rumpus.

Bylines you may have missed in June so far include:

I’ve been SO slammed. I have to make a very difficult decision tonight: leave my own reading early and push forward on an extremely-behind fellowship application due tomorrow, or stay at my reading, celebrate this massive event with my local literary community and finish this week’s paper with a little more focus. I am leaning towards the latter, which is sad because I have pushed for a long time for this particular writers of color fellowship to exist for a very long time. I’m ecstatic it exists. I suppose I can always try to do BOTH. I can let tonight go. And if I can manage, I can call tomorrow a new day and always race to turn something in. But again, I don’t just want to turn in something. I want to manage to turn in a reasonably competent application, one with a significantly different manuscript than the one I turned in for a similar fellowship from the same organization last year. We will see. I still have to do finishing touches on whatever I’m going to read tonight.

Speaking of which I am excited for a gorgeous updo with braids, a shit-ton of eyeliner, and a gorgeous flowing dress tonight. I hope I look fabulous and love myself and make people laugh and don’t feel anxious later. I hope I drink a bit but not too much so I don’t feel sick or paranoid. I hope I take compliments with love and remind people how much I love them. I hope that I am not in a position of conflict at any point of the night between my humanity and my network – I will always choose myself. I love myself too much to let someone tell me about their love for the confederate flag, their concerns for Rachel Dolezal, their sincerely irrelevant opinions on “the long gun man” who destroyed a black community in the house of god. I pray that I will deal with any such affronts to my person and my humanity with a swift wave of my hand. I pray that I am a true libra – full of grace and a demand for justice. Diplomats are paid. I am not. I am a human being, a young woman and refugee who travelled continents and eons to arrive here and I will not be dismissed. I will channel the Statue of Liberty and Nicki Minaj and welcome my communities warmly to my first night out in a very long time – a lovely summer evening that I’ve been meaning to have for a long time.

And god, with over 60 readers and 450+ confirmed guests on facebook I suppose it’s the chance to see everyone you’ve missed for seemingly centuries, all the good things and wonderful work they’ve done is finally bubbling up and any opportunity to celebrate them should be a victory dance for everyone in Portland to be honest.

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See you in blue, I’ll be the one in the aqua.

This week’s Notable Portland is Out

This week’s Notable Portland is Out

And I’m sure you’re very excited to read it – all at the Rumpus of course. But I’ll give you a sneak peek on my blog.

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Megan Kruse is in town and reading at Broadway Books tonight, Sarah Tomlinson is over at Powell’s Books on Hawthorne, She Shreds hosts a discussion panel at The Hollywood Theatre, Suss Magazine throws its 3rd Issue release party at Glyph Cafe & Arts Space, artist and illustrator Nikki McClure shares her new book at Powell’s City of Books, and Fort Vancouver High School invites local authors Kevin Sampsell, Tabitha Blankenbiller, and a group of others to read alongside their students. More at this week’s Notable Portland column at The Rumpus.

Soul Harmony and This Week’s Notable Portland

Soul Harmony and This Week’s Notable Portland

It’s been another week of writing here in Portland, and it started with the Oregon Book Awards Monday night. Cari Luna took home the coveted Fiction Award and Tom Spanbauer proposed to his boyfriend on stage and the night was full of drama and free alcohol and every writer in town which makes for one beautiful messy night for the ever unique and burgeoning Portland literary community.

In local news, Portland debuts a homegrown musical based on the life and music of Sonny Til and the Orioles, Soul Harmony. I’m excited to have written for it as this week’s front page for the Portland Observer. It was such a great experience to meet the cast and some of the people behind the scenes, like Kirk Mouser and Alan Berg, and I’ll be going to opening night this Friday. I really think the piece was interesting because it let us see how the entire show came to life. Sonny Til’s biological grandson is playing the roll of his grandfather for the show, and the show’s creator’s found him in a youtube comment section.

There’s so much about this show that’s lucky – and I feel like that luck will carry the show through it’s running. I can’t wait to see it.

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Of course, this brings us to my weekly literary events column at the Rumpus, Notable Portland. T.C. Boyle, Amber Tamblyn and dozens more over at the Rumpus.